Friday, November 29, 2013

Etsy- Coupons starting at SDAJ

Hoot, hoot holiday coupons are starting up at SDAJ!!! Type in coupon code HOLIDAYSHOPPING at check out in and receive 20% off on orders $50 or more. As an added bonus repeat customers get free domestic shipping also!

great time to order custom sets as in this special request for a client wanting 3 pieces built around tumbling media
close up of the tumbling media and wrapped copper bracelet

Holidays- the Thanksgiving meal through my daughter

While on Instagram yesterday evening I saw my daughter's photo she snapped, after constructing and arranging the perfect plating.
Slabs of turkey, butternut squash, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, beans and then ham & turkey gravy poured generously over only the luckiest of Thanksgiving menu fair.  As Tameryn, youngest daughter was plating her choices, Thea was showing her, her ways.  The younger approved of this slathering resulting in her eating more than she usually would, a happy thing for Mom.

daughter Thea's constructed Thanksgiving 
I have not been stuffing the bird for a few years but, baking it in a casserole making for a crunchy top.  This year I used the crock-pot for the stuffing.  It was pretty terrific done this way and definitely a technique I will continue to use, for it clears up the oven.  This method also mimics the turkey cavity making for a moist flavorful stuffing.

Fresh potted kitchen herbs were perfect for this task using sweet marjoram, parsley, thyme and sage.  These herbs thrown in the stuffing mix after sauteing  the unsalted butter, onions and celery... before pouring this and also chicken stock on the dried bread crumbs is wonderful compared to using dried.  I saved some of the bacon dripping from the broccoli salad, the night prior for sauteing also, which added a nice extra to the flavor profile.  

Cream cheese to the mashed potatoes, ham drippings/garlic/brown sugar to the beans, bacon on the turkey again and then pecans, melted unsalted butter and brown sugar tossed with the butternut squash before baking to list some of the additions to food staples on our table.  I went through about 2-lbs of unsalted butter during meal preparation.

and then they cleaned up doing the dishes and putting away for leftovers..... brilliant I say.

Aren't leftovers your favorite part or also the aroma from a good day in the kitchen.  You can't replicate that any other way, LOVE IT!

What is your Thanksgiving plating technique?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holidays- revisiting last year's Thanksgiving

I keep the menu simple with some of my childhood favorites such as dried corn, coleslaw, candied sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.  This year instead of the cabbage style slaw there will be a broccoli style slaw on the order of this recipe including peanuts or sunflower seeds depending on which I find first.  I am also baking an apple instead of pumpkin pie, I know how terrible but, we have been apple crazy this Fall with going through I don't know how many gallons of cider, crisps and just fresh cut apples of all types.  No candied sweet potatoes with instead baked butternut squash on the dinner table.
My Grandmother Agnes would have lost her cool, for the woman needed to have the same dishes at every holiday not deviating from those sacred entrees, sides and desserts.  One year for 4th of July, before my dh and I were married, I dared to bring over a seafood pasta salad and she went ballistic.  This simple addition caused years of her reprimands, not to mention the Easter ham where I did a spice rub along with the mustard/brown sugar glaze.  My Father also jumped in on this occasion...crrrr-azy around the Easter holiday table that year.
I forgot about the little bacon addition : - )  Sage under the skin, stuffed with onion, celery, an orange, garlic and various herbs stuff last years bird.  
It is my call now, I do what I want with whatever I want in my kitchen these days.  My girls also bring to the table some funstuff for they have freedom to play in the kitchen making some pretty amazing sides.

my daughter stirring gravy, dried corn simmering with turkey resting before the big CARVE
day after game playing with youngest dd snacking on frosting and saltines
Every year we usually put a fresh, newly found and purchased puzzle together Thanksgiving morning while watching the parade, football or perhaps a binge of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or Star Wars.  We are still in the Doctor Who mode so this year's will be a Whopuzzle with this one coming tomorrow from Amazon.   Amazon Prime is super for those last minute wants or needs!!

What will be on your Thanksgiving table this year?  I posted this query on my facebook wall this morning, if you want to take a gander, please do. 

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving !!!

*** I needed to include a friend's fun find.  Did you realize that this year's Thanksgiving falls on the same day as Hanukkah?  This great fusion make for Thanksgivukkah! Thanks Stacie!! hoot, hoot...funstuff!

Monday, November 25, 2013

etsy- staying fresh in the shoppe

Providing SDAJ to local galleries and shoppes has made it truly easier to stay fresh and current in my own online ETSY shoppe keeping certain bracelets, necklaces, earrings and pendants only available in the online venue. 
I received a phone call from a local friend, who is an ebay seller normally but, is becoming acquainted with her ETSY shoppe.  She was wondering if I have separate inventory for what is listed in the online shoppe from my show inventory or rather how I go about separating it all.   Now that I am providing jewelry for other sellers, don't have a retail space myself at the moment and not doing too many shows at this point, it is tons easier.  
A few years back I was in the same place as her, finding it difficult to not double sell shop items while doing shows or tending my gallery. It was rare but, did happen, even with the best intentions, of deleting those pieces from my etsy shoppe before an order was placed by a client online.  
mixed media bracelets with leather, copper, glass and stone, now for sale in the gallery
available in my online shoppe

also in the online shoppe
She carries vintage linens and other wonderful pieces here in her shoppe Song Bird and Lace.  I love her shoppe and also the inspiration behind it.  Good luck to you dear Ava!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

local restaurants- Syzmanski's Restaurant & Tavern, Kane, Pa.

At the beginning of summer we had stopped for dinner in Kane, Pennsylvania at Syzmanski's Restaurant & Tavern, on Route 6 in the Allegheny National Forest, where a fish fry for me and a burger for the husband was ordered.  When our food was brought to us, it did take a bit, for a very large group of ladies from a local  organization were having their annual meeting, but, it was worth the wait.
The haddock  fish fry had a very light but, good crunch to the coating, coleslaw was surprisingly dilly and the baked potato was, well... a baked potato.  My husband's burger was equally good with a fresh burger patty prepared to medium, french fries and house salad, the salad consisted of iceberg lettuce, a few leaves of spinach tossed in, carrot, tomato and red onion added to the mix.
last night's meal with the focus on the entree and not the sides
 Not a fancy table setting or dining environment but, good food with the focus on the entree.  Sides are very important to any dining experience but, for some reason not offered enough in local restaurants.  Remembering the days of the typical canned sides with either peas, corn, french style beans or vegetable medley, served lukewarm on the plate, not missed but, still curious of the where.

Last night before shopping for Thanksgiving at Tops, we stopped at Syzmanski's this time our dd was with us.  Our table ordered an 8 oz. sirloin, haddock fish fry and BLT all prepared perfectly, no lemon for my fish or tea which was a bummer but, truly good.  The fish fry was as good as I remembered, dd is a BLT junkie saying it was the best she has had in a while and dh's steak was done perfectly with the right amount of char and not much waste.  A seasonal draft selection for dh of Samuel Adams' Winter LagerRobust and spicy with oranges, ginger, and freshly ground cinnamon,  description from the website and it was as described, good stuff.  Peanut butter cream pies all the way around the table were enjoyed fully with a nice flavorful, not too sweet filling and a beautiful flaky crust. Pies and soups are made fresh daily!
photo towards a small dining area seen from our table
back small dining area where we sat beginning of summer with the dessert board
paying at the bar showing also the back bar dining area.
You enter through the bar normally with also paying here at the end of your meal.  You will find this establishment clean and quaint, located on Route 6, in the PA Wilds at the edge of the Allegheny National Forest.

Kane, Pa. still has a main street with home-style restaurants, clothing stores, specialty shops and a good choice of retail.  Before we started home I spotted a new candy shoppe located on Field Street, which is the same street as Texas Hot Lunch , The Sweet Shoppe, that I can't wait to stop in at a later date.

Hope you stop!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What is on your jeweler's bench Wednesday

Yesterday on the bench was spent punching holes in charms, sanding away the burr from the disc cutter/punch and then hammering some texture into each.  Now today will be branding each disc for then building more mixed media bracelets and necklaces.
my essential component making tool choices are:  Wubber plier assortment, Xuron cutters, wrap and tap pliers, bale making pliers, metal Power Punch, Ott light and assorted hammers.

recently cleaned up antique and vintage hammers were used on texturing

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Day of the Doctor, a love letter to it's fans

What are you planning for Saturday, November 23rd for this is a very special day for Doctor Who fans and also when the first show aired on Saturday, November 23rd, 1963.  BBC America is running a Doctor marathon all this week leading up to of course the much anticipated 50 year anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. The 75-minute special premieres as a global simulcast Saturday, November 23 at 2:50pm ET, with a primetime encore presentation at 7pm ET.

My daughter Larissa and I have been making pendants for quite sometime now in our ETSY shoppes with her also creating small fiber sculptures of the Tardis, which the acronym being Time and Relative Dimension in Space. All 3 of my girls are great fans with my middle daughter's tattoo of the Seal of Rassilon and sonic screwdriver to all of the tees, socks, dishes or other fun items in their collections.
sweet Tardis pendant from Larissa and The Sister Collective
Under my protection available HERE hand cut, hammered and metal printed from SDAJ 

super brushed satin finish branded and signed, ball chain included for immediate gratification
I have my Doctor Who inspired pendants also available at Allegheny Outfitters in Warren, Pa!

We will be spending the day at a friends house making special Doctor inspired treats and then of course waiting...waiting...waiting until this crazy awesome episode, The Day of the Doctor airs.

On the bench- making fine silver head pins

Mixing it up

Learning new ways to add depth to your designs is super important when growing your jewelry business.  I will never forget the first major fine art show I was accepted into and someone asked, did you make those lamp work beads..? or hey, how did you create that bracelet clasp?    The responses were varied from the deer in the head lights response or coming back with that is not my focus as yet, for I would jury in with the beaded sculptures and then strung pieces would tag along for fill in the display.  
set-up here includes a butane torch, fire brick, tweezers, pumice and annealing pan.  A bowl of water is also near by for quenching the torched wire.
Fine silver wire, here 20 gauge was used, makes for super fast headpins formed into French hook style ear wires.  The pure silver balls up when heat from a torch is applied at the wires end briefly.. creating a type of headpin.  By using the fine silver instead of sterling, there is no need for a pickle, shortening time spent or labor on the process.
finished cooled headpins laying on pumice in the annealing pan

Monday, November 18, 2013

treasuring on ETSY- from the blue in Pennsylvania

Etsy teams are a great way to 'pay it forward' and this is what this fabulous Pennsylvania concentric team, Etsylvanians, has done in a pretty awesome way with making treasury lists from team members offerings.

The rules are~
1. If you are in this treasury - try to curate one with my item listed 1st.
2. Post the rules in your treasury so we can keep this going.
3. Comment, promote, favorite.

pretty simple!

Here is my shoppe's push forward

shades of blue, wood, the natural and silver

 SDAJ was included in this great treasury

Spikey Heart beaded artdoll from SDAJ was added to this great collection from 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

local restaurants- Buttonwood Motel & Restaurant

Searching for a super breakfast yesterday morning between Elk and Cameron County, to enjoy on the way to drop off my fall/winter line at the Cameron County Artisan Center,  I was told about Buttonwood Motel & Restaurant. Before we were on the road, I put it on Facebook about wanting to try a new (to us) breakfast joint.  Not long after doing so a fellow vintage camper enthusiast answered the query with her favorite destination, the Buttonwood, and yes, the fact she mentioned that they have scrapple on the menu also was a big selling point. Scrapple is a Pennsylvania Dutch favorite made from scraps of pork or other meat stewed with cornmeal and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying, especially characteristic of eastern Pennsylvania..
platters of morning goodness from the Buttonwood in Cameron County
I did not get scrapple this time but, a wonderfully light pumpkin pancake, perfectly spiced Cajun sausage, tender eggs up and tasty homefries w/onions were the choices made.  The menu is truly unique where a full plate of specials for example, the mountain man special (or some other concoctions are not offered) which would include pancakes, eggs, home fries and  filling up the table but, the Buttonwood offers single choices in 3 sizes.  So what you see here is a small portion of pancakes, medium of potatoes, single serving of sausage and the 2 egg size which was perfect or maybe it was that good for I usually take food home.  The coffee was another wonderful plus being a STRONG full flavored cup, good stuff.

They say this about themselves:

Friendly service and country charm await you here at the Buttonwood Restaurant. Locally renowned for unsurpassed breakfasts and lunches. Our 70 seat dining room is open to serve you 7 days a week from 6 AM. until 1 PM. A special Friday evening treat, the Buttonwood offers an outstanding fish fry from 4 PM until 8 PM. Please come as you are and enjoy good food and friends in a real country atmosphere.

Buttonwood dining area from their website
They are friendly, all full of country charm and their breakfasts are assuredly unsurpassed in this beautiful section of Pa. known as the Pennsylvania Wilds Region!

Can't wait to visit again, probably for that fish fry!

SDAJ additions to PA Wild's Trail Stops

Cameron County Artisan Center in Emporium, Pa. was our next stop before heading home.
monograms, PA Wilds branded pieces, mixed media/component bracelets, 3 tiered necklace with Petrified wood/Tigereye/Czech crystal/riverstone and 2 of a brand new designs of necklace SDAJ is creating for ease of wear.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What is on your jeweler's bench Wednesday

Today for What is on your jeweler's bench Wednesday I started to punch out more 18 gauge copper blanks for branding, tags, attribute charms and pendants.  Each will be hammer textured and stamped so the imperfections just add to the over all desired effect.
A Pepetool disc cutter along with a 2-lb brass hammer to punch each disc out.  The brass is softer than steel and you have less chance of chipping or totally destroying your punches.  now carries Swanstrom square, rectangle, oval and heart shapes.  Eventually a hydraulic press is going to find it's way to the studio.

makes me smile :)

new favorite photo editor

I am all in with +google having a +Stephanie Distler and also now the download of Chrome once again.  Yesterday on my + account I noticed that the #selfies yesterday, taken in the kitchen with my android, were miraculously here on the main PC :)  Well that is too cool, phone to PC!  Needing to tweak them just a touch, lol.. I also needed to download Chrome which I then did to play with their photo editor.
WOW..pretty cool I must say with all it's filters and manipulation features.  Below is the before and after

after...perhaps I needed to hold my face up :)
Rotate, warmth, glow and focus and we are good to go.  I was not going to do anything with the pics initially but, after another look, a few did not look too terrible.
Love the new photo features on Google as well as the new profile accounts including what they have done with blogger.
I wonder if Flickr's group Self Portrait Tuesday is still active..perhaps possible..maybe  Guess so!!!  Back in 2005 this group was my go to for #selfies, loving also to see the creative snaps other members were taking.
With all the transitions the my main BLOG has gone through lately, I feel the need to blog these sometime soon.

I List- there for I am

  1. why does social media have to be so tempting
  2. talking cat with attitude is pretty GREAT
  3. why oh why do you have to be so crazy expensive, you fabulous tool you
  4. seeing things I have not in forever...through linkedwithin and outbrain
  5. drinking coffee from a diner in a fab mug is the best
  6. Grey is the new orange, for love of a comfy cardigan
  7. I crave fresh air
  8. pasta and garlic prepared anyway
  9. the beauty of food as a subject, such a willing model
  10. a Small Business Saturday cool shopping destination Shop quality, shop small
  11. Alton Brown keeps moving on up, so very classy from head to toe
  12. sounds like a perfect addition for the Thanksgiving table, in-place of humdrum coleslaw 
Take a gander over to the left, adventuring through the blogroll, seeing such inspiration around us on the web!  

Boy, oh boy have I missed having a blogroll on here!  >>>>>>

Monday, November 11, 2013

kitchen herbs- 2013 window sill

herb collection this year:  Bay, pot Marjoram, Sage, Lavender/Thyme and Parsley... with Rosemary living on the counter across
Every year some herbs make it to the kitchen window sill, at the ready for cooking or teas.  I really chopped at the 3 year old Bay tree, trying to sculpt the branches into more of a standard form and also trimmed back others.
a lone Sage leaf was added to a cold brewed Constant Comment tea bag floating in my fave water's studio beverage :)
Making infusions of fresh herbs, cold water, tea bags and spices is crazy simple.  Great drinks to wake you up or for relaxation or at the ready with those Winter rescues from the porch or garden!

making jewelry for my daughter

Our three daughters all have dipped into the jewelry making realm and enjoy making knotted jewelry, especially my 2nd lovely daughter, Thea.  Her work is truly gorgeous and innovative I feel... from her materials used to her knotting style it all draws you in.  She also likes her Mom's designs and asks for certain pieces often. This time, dear Thea wanted a Chakra bracelet.

The 7 chakra stone bracelet wraps around her wrist 3 times but, can also be worn as a necklace..seen below

7 stones utilized are:  Obsidian, Agate, Tigereye, Rose Quartz, Turquoise,  Lapis Lazuli and Amethyst
She decided on these 7 stones above plus in addition to them requested an Opal and Quartz Crystal.  For now, the Quartz Crystal  was incorporated into the piece but, eventually the Opal will be added after one is decided upon.  
Very user friendly piece, blending in with her bracelets beautifully :)  
Glad to be of service daughter dear!


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